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Daytona 500 “one of the vital thrilling issues I’ve ever finished”

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Making his return to Daytona for the primary time since he contested the 2013 Xfinity sequence, the 11-time X-Video games gold medalist and founding father of the Nitro Circus began his week on a excessive notice by locking himself into the race on qualifying pace.

That meant Pastrana may afford to spend the qualifying Duels races getting used to how his 23XI Racing Toyota automobile carried out within the draft, however nonetheless received a bit of a crash that broke out forward of him and so started NASCAR’s crown jewel occasion from fortieth on the grid.

Pastrana took a cautious strategy for a lot of the occasion, main two laps throughout a cycle of green-flag pit stops however was in any other case unseen till he appeared on the again finish of the top-ten within the closing levels.

It seemed just like the a number of X Video games gold medal-winner would possibly even come away with a top-five end within the chaos, however one awkward push on the white flag lap despatched him sideways down the monitor. An enormous crash ensued which ended the race, with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. declared the winner.

Pastrana nevertheless regained management of his automobile and made it again to the road, nonetheless almost claiming a top-ten and solely lacking out on prime rookie plaudits by one place to Riley Herbst in tenth. 

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The 39-year-old entered the race with “no expectations” and mentioned to be in rivalry for a top-five end on the finish “exceeded all my expectations”.

“These are the very best drivers on the planet,” he mentioned. “I’m not an important rear-wheel driver, I’m not an important pavement driver. Restrictor plate racing is a little bit completely different.

“We had an important group with this 23XI Toyota group, and it was an honour to be on the monitor with these guys. It was wonderful that we have been capable of put it within the prime 20. I’m pleased with everybody concerned and so grateful to be right here.”

Travis Pastrana, 23XI Racing, Black Rifle Espresso Toyota Camry

Photograph by: Gavin Baker / NKP / Motorsport Images

Reflecting on “one of many best if not the best weeks or couple of weeks of my life”, Pastrana admitted he was “mentally and bodily utterly drained” having additionally completed thirteenth in Friday evening’s Truck race.

“As excited as I’m proper now, I’d sleep for the following week,” he admitted. “I’m mentally and bodily utterly drained.

“Even the Truck race, my coronary heart fee was 170 in a three-wide pack. 182 was my excessive. That’s simply on adrenaline.

“So, anybody that claims NASCAR is boring, they’re stuffed with crap. They’ve positively by no means been in a automobile as a result of this was one of the vital thrilling issues I’ve ever finished.”

Pastrana declared that his Cup Collection debut is more likely to be his one and solely try on the Daytona 500, however mentioned he would not rule out extra Truck Collection appearances with Niece Motorsports, having competed with the group sporadically lately.

“One and finished,” he declared. “Now if Cody (Efaw) from Niece Motorsports calls me up and says, ‘Hey, what are you doing this weekend?’ I’ll soar in, however I’m not ok to be the very best at this sport with my talent set.

“The period of time that this may take proper now and I’m attempting to decelerate.

“The explanation I’m right here proper now’s as a result of I really feel like that is the very best I’ve ever been as a driver. We’ve been successful championships on the grime, and I simply needed to expertise the entire Daytona Speedweeks.”

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